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July/August 2011


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By Sandy Plone, Ph.D.

As one of the most painful experiences in adult relational experiences, the author acknowledges her own history of surviving a spouses' betrayal as being something "worse than death· living through your (own) worst nightmare". Here are a few of Ms. Bercht's suggestions that others may use to help heal following a painful betrayal:
1.      TREAT YOURSELF. While this advice does feel more directed towards women, it surely could be applicable to both genders. She suggests new clothes, vacations, seeking enjoyment in familiar pleasure, though she does not mean in unhealthy ways.
2.      TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH. This could mean physically, mentally, as well as emotionally, eating properly, seeing the necessary health care professionals (including counseling), postponing important decisions until you feel more centered. (You have had a shock and a loss; it is natural to grieve and mourn.)

3.      NURTURE YOUR SPIRIT. For those who embrace spiritual beliefs, meditation, prayer, and spiritual reading can be invaluable. Seeking a spiritual community can help also, or group therapy where others share a similar experience.
4.      SEEK OUT THOSE WHO CAN OFFER SUPPORT. Visit friends and family with whom you feel safe and nurtured; do not try to "brave it alone.”
5.  Author's note: Though not on Ms.Bercht's list, finding creative outlets can be surprisingly healing, such as starting an artistic endeavor (piano, painting, sewing, sculpting). Something new can be both distracting and exciting, opening up new vistas while healing emotional wounds.

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